All runners who use the Woods should be aware of and sensitive to the Foundation’s financial needs and are encouraged to support the Hitchcock Woods Foundation.
Following are the guidelines for all runners visiting the Woods:
- Runners will honor guidelines in this section and all other guidelines and rules of etiquette in the Visitors Guide, as well as those in the Hitchcock Woods Foundation’s brochures and maps.
- Follow instructions on all “yield” signage as described in this document.
- Groups of 14 or more must register with the Hitchcock Woods Foundation office prior to a scheduled event.
- Runners are responsible for awareness of prohibited activities and uses in the Woods.
- Stay on the trails at all times to protect the fragile soils, the vegetation, and the wildlife.
- Organized events (races) will require a modified set of etiquette guidelines.
- Each area school that has a cross-country / track team will receive a letter each semester (August and January) to advise them of the Foundation’s current guidelines regarding running in the Hitchcock Woods Woods.
- If a group of runners wants to conduct training or races in the Woods, they must agree to hold a brief orientation of the Foundation’s etiquette guidelines by one of the Hitchcock Woods Foundations designees.
- The Hitchcock Woods Foundation will conduct a specific presentation with information on how the Woods are managed, who manages the Woods, and the general costs involved in managing the Woods.
Training or casual runners must observe the following guidelines:
- When encountering pedestrians, pedestrians with dogs, or pedestrians with children, be courteous and slow to a walk or stop. (Dogs might chase a runner.)
- When encountering a horse and rider or carriage from the front, slow to a walk, stop if necessary. Ask if it is safe to pass and move away quietly and slowly.
- When encountering a horse and rider or carriage from behind, speak to the rider as you approach to make your presence known. Ask the rider when it is safe to proceed. Move away quietly and slowly.
- Stand in a visible place and do not hide off the trail.
- Large groups of runners pose more of a disturbance to horses, so spread out on the trail into groups no larger than two to three runners.
- Do not touch the horses unless invited to do so.
Event and race runners must observe the following guidelines:
- The Hitchcock Woods Foundation reserves the right to limit the number of events / races.
- The Woods manager or a designee will be present for set up, during the race, and clean up.
- An appropriate trail marking system must be utilized. If Hitchcock Woods Foundation staff members assist, the Hitchcock Woods Foundation will be compensated, plus direct costs.
- The following are required: appropriate notification, signage at entrances one week in advance, and phone calls to immediate area stables giving time, date, and location of the event. The Hitchcock Woods Foundation office will make the phone calls to notify stables.
- Volunteers must be located on appropriate trails to notify Woods visitors that a race is in progress.
- Appropriate waivers must be signed by all runners and delivered prior to the start of the event.
- Organized events (races) are the only exception where it is not a requirement to slow down when encountering a horse or other visitors. However, runners are expected to exercise caution if horses are encountered during an event.
- Runners need to be aware of the noise they make and its effect on the horse’s behavior.
See guidelines for related topics / issues:
Etiquette / Behavior, For-Profit Activities, Prohibited Uses, Trails, Volunteers